In some quarters, where mocking people is so much better than discussing ideas, it is quite fashionable to deride the idea of individual gun ownership as a deterrent to government tyranny.

“How is your gun supposed to stop the federal government with their tanks and their drones, you right-wing simp? Hardy har…”

If you have paid any attention to these discussions, you know this mocking disguised as argument and its equally derisive derivatives.

Can I, equipped only with my guns, stand off against the full might of the U.S. government? Of course not.

But the notion of tanks and a battalion of soldiers rolling down my quiet Long Island street to put me down as the vision of government tyranny is laughable. That is not what government tyranny looks like in most cases.

Most of the time, government tyranny is a local affair, empowered by the cult of power. Tyranny in Germany didn’t start out with death camps, it started with local thugs and bureaucrats abusing citizens to push their nefarious agenda. Do you think that those thugs and bureaucrats even knew where it was all leading? I doubt it.

The tyranny that most Germans initially experienced was not a Panzer division rolling down their street to enforce conformity with Nazi principles. It was local people, empowered by the cult of tyranny, abusing their power. Imagine if a well-armed and resistive German people had confounded such efforts? Imagine that the thugs feared a well-armed citizenry might appear around a corner as they beat their victims on the street? Imagine that local politicians and police feared armed resistance from the citizenry? How might things have been different?

Tyranny takes many forms, from the soft tyranny we experience today to very very hard tyranny. But 99% of tyranny is local. They may be empowered by the centralized behemoth, but it is enforced locally by neighbors. This is the tyranny that can and should be resisted and it is entirely feasible and possible to imagine our soft tyranny turing harder. If it ever does, I will be glad that I have my guns. I don’t want to shoot anyone, not even my local tyrant. But I sure do want him to worry that I might.

With ubiquitous armed resistance keeping local tyranny in check and in fear of the people, the chances that a tank will one day roll down your street is lessened.

*subhead*Tyranny is local.*subhead*